It’s this gender equality issue that I’ve been wanting to talk about.
The rave has been on, and I’ve been reading articles from my friends..
Infact, Steve Chike Abia’s article got me really thinking about the role of bride price in gender equality ( and I’m still thinking)..
Then there have been articles on the wife of the Akwa Ibom State Speaker, kneeling down to appreciate her husband for supporting her in bagging her PhD degree and all that, and all that…
Well, here’s my stand.
The Women Worker’s Rights and Gender Equality states :
“Gender equality entails the concept that all human beings, both men and women, are free to develop their personal abilities and make choices, without the limitations set by stereotypes, rigid gender roles and prejudices.’
“Gender equality means that the different behaviours, aspirations and needs of women and men are considered, valued and favoured equally.”
“It does not mean that men and women have to become the same, but that their rights, responsibilities, and opportunities, will not depend on whether they are male or female”. Men and women are a distinct whole of uniqueness that can never be equal, literally.
But the crux of the matter is this:
One cannot give what one doesn’t have.
Cj Chibuike Joseph Chukwudum puts it beautifully: “Feminism movement is fighting the wrong battle, hating on men. ‘Patriarchy’ is not necessarily men seeking to enslave women, but is rather a mentality that cross across both sexes, a socio cultural stereotype”.
Simply put, the war for gender parity has to be first won in the mind of the girl child. It is common to see how quick we women are first to antagonize and throw darts at our kind. Any woman who wills to become, in a supposedly male dominated area, is considered ‘heady’, ‘stubborn’ and ‘unsubmissive’, mostly by her womenfolk.
So, in the case of the kneeling wife, a woman has the right to choose how to demonstrate her appreciation for her man.
It is not wrong place to do so. Above all, it was her choice. It also does not mean, that it was ‘her right’ to do so.
It was an action borne out of love and respect for her man, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.
What should form a cause for concern is how she views herself in her mind’s eye. Her sense of self esteem. Does she know her worth? Does she act devoid of self esteem to her husband? Does she see herself as a slave to her man, or as a partner?
Still in Cj’s words: “the mind of the girl child must be revolutionized. She must be taught to see beyond the limitations imposed on her by sociocultural stereotypes, and rise to achieve her full potentials”.
She must also be taught to have self worth- to know that her strength and will must be drawn from her own unique challenges..and not what the society thinks about her, or seeks to make her believe..
So, until that war on gender equality is won within, the war without is a vague course.
By – Chidimma Chukukere
Oh yes, well said. Still love to hear your views on this.